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Wed, 15 Jul 2020 13:34 - Updated Wed, 15 Jul 2020 13:34

Atlantic Ventures loses lawsuit against Angolan state

Luanda - The Arbitral Tribunal of Paris overruled, on Friday, the legal action brought against the Angolan State by Atlantic Ventures, which challenged the revocation of a Presidential Decree authorizing the concession of building the new Dande Port to that company linked to the businesswoman Isabel dos Santos.

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The said court also ordered the company Atlantic Ventures to pay the Angolan State 132.890.290 kwanzas for the costs of the arbitration, according to a press release from the Ministry of Transport (Mintrans) that has  reached ANGOP.

The decision, taken unanimously by 3-members of the court of arbitration, does not admit appeal, which means that Atlantic Ventures is effectively removed from the use of an extension of land idealized for the construction of Dande Port and the constitution of a free trade zone.

At stake is a deal attributed to a presidential decree signed by the former Angolan Head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, on 20 September 2017, six days before the inauguration of President João Lourenço, who, meanwhile, in the end of June 2018, revoked the decision.

The concession was for 30 years and the work was valued at US $ 1.5 billion, involving the issuance of a state sovereign guarantee, in the same amount, in favour of the company Atlantic Ventures.

MINTRANS reaffirms the purpose of continuing to act to pursue and safeguard the public interest, and to ensure the implementation of an Integrated Development Terminal in Barra do Dande zone, through the use of qualified foreign investors with technical and financial capacity to guarantee the creation of national strategic reserves in the food, fuel and energy fields, aiming at economic development.

The lawsuit brought by the company Atlantic Ventures resulted from the repeal of Presidential Decree No. 207/17, of 20 September, which authorized the concession of Porto do Dande, as well as the constitution of a free trade zone, in a perimeter from the mouth of the river Dande to the vicinity of the Capolo area.

In reaction to the revocation of the concession, Atlantic Ventures filed two arbitration proceedings, one under the aegis of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, and the other with an Ad Hoc Arbitration.

In the action, Atlantic Ventures asks the Arbitral Tribunal to declare, among others, the nullity of the Presidential Decree through which the new President of the Republic revoked the diploma that made the act of favouring official and, also, the payment by the Angolan State of an indemnity worth US $ 850 million.

The Arbitration Court dictated, however, that the existence of the aforementioned contracts was not proven and understood that the subsequent claim that the aforementioned contracts would exist and would be valid cannot be admitted.

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